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Boxshot 4.13

05 Jun 2017

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Three new shapes, two new tools, lots of improvements and bugfixes - that's the long-awaited Boxshot update we released today. Keep reading for more details and update instructions.

3D Text Shape

It's better once to see, you know :)

Both objects are actually 3D texts, thanks to fonts like Webdings. Read more here, but in two words you can specify the font, size, thickness and some flags and get a nice 3D text object right in your scene. Custom fonts help making various objects and bevel option helps making your text even better.

Bevel is not perfect yet and needs some polishing, we'll address this in the next updates.

Extrude Shape

It's pretty much like 3D text, but you define the curve:

The shape comes with curve editor, similar to the one you have for Lathe object:

You can edit curves there, or simply import a SVG file. We did a good job on improving our SVG parser, so there shouldn't be any issues with importing SVG files.

Read more about extruded objects here.

Conical Label Shape

That was painfully difficult, but we've most likely done it :) The problem with Boxshot is that it needs to digest almost everything you load there, so we had to provide a way to reconstruct the cone by label and label by cone. Unfortunately that is impossible, but we still did it. Meet the conical label:

The main thing is hidden under the Fit to artwork button that pops up the artwork editor with an interactive grid:

The idea is simple: you load the distorted artwork then open the artwork editor, fit the grid to the artwork and get a nice conical label. It works here and passes all the tests we have. Now its your turn: give it a try and let us know if it works for you.

Read more about conical labels here.

Alignment and Distribution Tools

Another long-awaited feature, inspired by Adobe Illustrator. Select some shapes, right click one of them and select Tools->Align... and you'll get this:

You can independently align objects along all the axes (or leave them as is). Objects can be aligned to each other, scene or a key object. Boxshot instantly updates the scene when you change the parameters, so you're in full control on what's going on there.

To open the distribution tool, click Tools->Distribute... in the context menu of the selected shapes:

It is again inspired by Adobe Illustrator and lets you choose the axis to distribute along, the distribution bounds (or distance) and what to distribute: objects or free space. Again, Boxshot interactively displays all the changes you make, so you can see what you do.

Some extra details can be found here: alignment tool, distribution tool.

The Old New "Assets" Panel

Another long-requested feature is a better built-in materials list. What we did is we renamed the left "Materials" panel to "Assets" and added a lot of new stuff there:

There are more than 200 materials and about 50 images there, including new HDR environment images and complex materials like "Hot foil" or "Spot UV". Now you've got something to choose from :)

Other Improvements

We seriously updated our Collada import/export code in order to make it the main interchange format between our apps. Boxshot now exports proper scene hierarchy and materials to Collada, so Koru and Owlet can get the most of it and read Boxshot materials and scene parameters. It will take a few more updates to sync the things up perfectly between the apps, but you will feel the difference even with what we have at the moment.

Another important improvement has been done in 3DS importing code. We did a big test on the large number of various 3DS files and made sure they all are loaded exactly the same way as in Autodesk 3D Studio Max. All the hierarchies, instances and transformations are now supported well. If you still have a 3DS file that is not loaded properly by the new version - let us know. Owlet and Koru will soon be switched to the new importer to make sure all the apps are on the same page.

FBX loading code has been improved to better handle models with embedded images. Boxshot now extracts them into the "buddy" folder next to the FBX file, so nothing is messed up anymore when several FBX files with embedded images are opened at the same time.

As it's been said above, we did a great job on our SVG parser for both Lathe and Extrude shapes. It now passes almost all the SVG tests and you should get much less warnings when loading external curves into Boxshot. We hope to address the rest of the issues in the next updates, but please feel free to contact us if something is not loading well there.

Starting from this version Boxshot takes gamma into account when loading HDR images. This may slightly change the way your scenes look, yet we tried our best to keep your old scenes untouched. Boxshot now performs much better color profile and gamma corrections when loading and saving images, so you should get no difference when exchanging images with Photoshop. That was the goal and we are quite happy with the results.

A nice addition has been done to the File menu, see the Collect Resources... item there. Clicking it brings up the saving window and once you choose the path and file name, Boxshot collects all the images and external files and puts them next to the saved project. This is perfect for transferring projects to another place, making sure nothing is lost.

The collection feature is also used for our "Render later" option. By default Boxshot collects all the resources into the job folder when you decide to render it later. This lets you keep the jobs folder on a separate computer and have a separate copy of Boxshot doing rendering. You can turn this off and revert to the old behaviour in settings, if you like.

UV mapping overriding has been significantly re-worked for speed. It now works much faster even for complex shapes, reducing the loading times. We also fixed that copy-paste issue that some of you had with external objects with overriden mapping.

WebGL export option has been removed in favor of Koru. As Koru is now free even for commercial purposes, and as it provides much more features compared to the experimental Boxshot WebGL exporter, we decided to leave just one and (surprize) chosen Koru. Consider exporting to Collada and then loading it to Koru for further exporting to WebGL.

We also added integration with Sketchfab service. You can find it in File->Publish menu. That's another option to publish your scenes to the web, so you have a choice. Augment export has been updated too, to make sure it works fine with their site.

Finally, plastic binders got an extra option letting you hide the front cover of the shape.

Bugfixes

We have also fixed some nasty bugs, the list is below:

  • Raytracing preview may hang in some scenes because of too many cross-reflections;
  • Crash on copy-paste of objects with overriden UV mapping;
  • Background rendering issues with depth-of-field enabled;
  • Incorrect material in plastic DVD box.

Hope you find all the problems you currently have with Boxshot in the list above, meaning they are now fixed and everything is fine. Let us know if you still have any issues.

How to Update?

Honestly, that's the most difficult part when writing such posts. I need to invent another way of telling the same: click the button below to get the latest version :)

Or visit the downloads page if you need a version for another platform.

That's all

Thanks for reading and downloading the latest version. We're going to have a little rest and read your feedback below :)

Cheers!